First Look

Lightlife Gimme Lean Fake Sausage: A Taste Test

We understand that eating meat is one of the badder things you can do for the planet, what with trees being cut to make way for pastures, cows chewing cud where soybeans could otherwise flourish, and heifer poop emitting methane into the air. While Mama and I haven't exactly committed to becoming full-fledged vegetarians, we agreed to make meatless meals a few times a week. Hence, our adventures with new foodstuffs, like Gardein (meh...) and fake chicken wings (tasty!).

While in the package, all seemed good with Lightlife's Gimme Lean fake

sausage. Promising a tasty, healthy breakfast alternative, the stuff

hadn't broken trust -- so far.

But that good will was abandoned when we

cut it open and shape its formless, extruded soy into patties for the


They looked like oatmeal cookies, and the

mixture didn't bind together well. Bits remained stuck to hands -- chunky


The label says "We do not use soybeans produced using bio-technology." Hey -- use that bio-tech stuff if it renders this pseudo-sausage edible!

With a whiff of sage, part of the deal was sealed, but the illusion was short-lived. Though the smell was accurate, what's missing is the savory sizzle and juiciness of the grease associated with real sausage. And even though the sausage "crumbles" when cooked, the little cleaved-off chunks were dry and brittle. 

Mam was more optimistic than I: On a McMuffin, with cheese and eggs, you'd probably have a winner, she said. Eaten on the same fork with a bite of eggs, it constituted an instant improvement. 

Our verdict: This tube of fake griddle patties might satisfy the palate of a hard-core vegan or a dedicated vegetarian, but meat-lovers seeking a synthetic fix are likely to be disappointed with this substitute sausage. If it's a choice between these greaseless wonders for all eternity, or a double-bypass, I'll take a coin toss.